President, White Construction Co., a Detroit-based construction firm responsible for work on the city's Campus Martius project, its Riverwalk project, and a major addition to the University of Michigan-Dearborn science center. White started from scratch in 1989 and now leads a company with 29 employees.


MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON: "My grandmother, Rosa B. Smith. She gladly made me breakfast every morning during high school, she sat down, ate and talked to me, and she advised me to get a college education no matter what, and then I could do whatever I wanted as a man. Fortunately I listened to her wisdom and followed her suggestions and she was right. Before she died she was so proud of me, though I don't know if she understood just how far I had come since those morning breakfasts."

LAST BOOK READ: "Good to Great, Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't, by Jim Collins."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Anal. Focused. Perfectionist. I hate to admit that but that's what I am."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "I think there will always be construction as our world is constantly changing, and this creates a constant need to change our housing, offices and other environments for our changing tastes. Construction can go up and it can go down but it is always happening."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "Has to be my PalmOne Tungsten T3. I use it to remind me of my tasks, it keeps my calendar, contacts, photos, it's a calculator, a diary, and I wish I could download it direct to my brain. It keeps me very productive."

FAVORITE PLACE: "I love to visit Africa. I've been to Kenya, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Benin, and Togo. It's just been an eye-opening experience for me personally. I've never seen humanity, land, nature, and animals in such abundance. It was like going back in time about 400 years. But at the same time I enjoy coming back to America each time."

FAVORITE HOBBY: "I really enjoy flying my various kites. And I keep one in my trunk at all times just in case the urge grabs me."

FAVORITE FOOD: "For breakfast, after exercise, I have tuna fish, cottage cheese, walnuts and blueberries, all together. It sounds awful but it's really delicious, and good for you."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "I play marimba, a wooden xylophone. I think music is great but making music is even better."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "That's a tough one. I would probably say that I was serious but also silly, able to have fun at the same time."